Former RPV Chairman Pat Mullins Passes Away at 79, Updated With Memorial Service Info

Updated — Memorial service arrangements: Services for the remembrance and celebration of Pat Mullins’ life will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, June 21st, at McLean Bible Church, in the Smith Center, which is located at 8925 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182. Reception to follow right outside the Smith Center.

For those interested in logistics, it’s in Northern Virginia, about 2 miles west of Tysons Corner on Route 7 (Leesburg Pike). There will be ample parking and we hope ample space for everyone who’s interested in attending and there are hotel rooms just down the road in Tysons Corner or Reston that are available for those that are traveling in.

My father’s express wishes were to have a service that was a celebration and that we try to laugh and tell some funny stories. We will endeavor to do that.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to the PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) would be most appreciated and please memo them to the “Pat & Jackie Mullins International Conference Scholarship Fund”. Contributions can be accepted at: PATH international, P.O. Box 33150, Denver, CO 80233.

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Sad news this evening from former Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins’ son that his father had passed away Sunday in a car accident. Steve Mullins posted on his dad’s Facebook page:

“I’m sorry to relay the information that my father passed away into the hands of the Lord after a car accident in Hanover County this afternoon.

“Pat re-joins his wife Jackie Mullins who passed away in 2010.

“We obviously are saddened and shocked by the news. We take peace that Pat is with his Lord and Risen Savior and reunited with his wife and our mother that he married in 1963.

“He will be greatly missed by his 4 children and their spouses, his 6 grandchildren, his brother, his cousins, and the many friends and family that he has impacted over his 79 years on the Earth.

“Once we have information on the services and arrangements for Pat, we will let you know.

“Thank you for your prayers.”

Pat Mullins was born in St. Alban, West Virginia, on August 22, 1938. He attended Columbia University where he received his BA in 1959, serving as sports editor of the college daily newspaper, then later attended George Washington University where he received a JD.

Mullins served as RPV Chairman from 2009-15. On May 30, 2009, he was elected to finish the term of removed former chair Jeff Frederick, and in 2012 re-elected to served until his retirement in 2015 when current Chairman John Whitbeck was elected to fill out Mullins’ term.

When he retired in 2015 at the age of 77, Mullins told the Roanoke Free Press that serving as chairman had been one of the “greatest honors and privileges of his life,” adding, “I’ll be forever thankful to the Republicans across Virginia who have placed their trust and support in me.”

As to why he was leaving mid-term, Mullins said it was “time to turn the reigns over to someone else.” He added, “I have been blessed with good health and now want to spend more time with my children and grandchildren and spend more time traveling and seeing friends across the country.”

Mullins had served as chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee and Louisa County Republican Committee. His staff at RPV had included Shaun Kenney as Executive Director and Garren Shipley as Communications, calling them “a top notch group of committed and dedicated professionals that I have been proud every single day to work with.”

Update 1: The Republican Party of Virginia has released a statement from Chairman John Whitbeck:

“Republicans across Virginia are shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden loss of our former Chairman, Pat Mullins. Pat steered our Party through some of its most difficult times, and his presence will be sorely missed.

“To spend time with Pat was to sit with a master storyteller, and savvy deal maker. There were few people he hadn’t met, and fewer still that he didn’t have a story about, which he was always more than happy to sit and tell. The only things he loved to talk about more than politics were his grandchildren, and his work with the therapeutic riding community.

“For many of us, the indelible image of Pat Mullins isn’t a party chairman in a suit, but a loving grandfather spending time with his family at Lake Anna – and I know Pat wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our prayers are with the entire Mullins family. Pat Mullins was a wonderful man, a great Virginian, and we are thankful for the short time we got to spend with him.”

Update 2: As word of the passing of Pat Mullins spreads, friends and colleagues are sharing thoughts.

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock: “I am saddened to hear the sad news that former Republican Party of Virginia Chairman, Pat Mullins, passed away earlier today after a car accident. Pat was a friend and activist who helped Republicans throughout the Commonwealth to build and grow the Republican Party.  Pat was a natural leader who brought people together and was always in good humor. First and foremost Pat was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who was beloved by his family and friends. Chip and I extend our deepest condolences to the entire Mullins family during this difficult time and keep them all in our prayers.”

Michael Thompson, President, Thomas Jefferson Institute, and Pat’s Vice Chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee: “A good friend and long time ally died this afternoon in a car accident. Pat Mullins was an ally and at times an opponent in Republican politics but we never wavered as friends. His son, Steve, informed us today of Pat’s tragic death. Pat was unique: dedicated family man, a proud Christian, successful businessman, a firm believer in his political views, a scrapper, enjoyed speaking his mind to the press and anyone else, colorful, funny and honest. And, as I said at the beginning, a good friend. He lived a full and exciting life. Our prayers are with Pat’s family.”

Brian Schoeneman, Republican party activist: “Very sad to hear that former RPV Chairman Pat Mullins has passed away. Pat was a great man, a great leader and a great Republican. All of us in the party owe him a debt of gratitude for his years of service and especially for his stepping in at a critical time when he was the only person who could do the job. I wish I had known him better and had more time to work with him. Republicans in Virginia lost a great friend today.”

Kyle McDaniel, RPV State Central Committee member, 11th District: “I’m shocked to hear that Pat Mullins-Chairman Emeritus passed away. Katie and I were blessed to attend Christmas Eve service with him a few times with his kids at Messiah United Methodist Church. He was a steadfast stalwart of our conservative principles and he will be surely missed. Edit: Pat’s contribution to Fairfax County history shouldn’t be missed. He ran against Sharon Bulova the first time she ever ran for elected office. On a personal note, he sold insurance for horses which is a big part of our county’s history.”

Donald Williams, former chairman, Chesterfield County Republican Committee: “I have learned of the death of my friend, Pat Mullins-Chairman Emeritus of the Republican Party of Virginia..
Many of you know of all that Pat accomplished as Chairman of RPV. But, Pat was much more than just the leader of a political party. He was a a fine man. A gentleman. A loving husband, father and grandfather. Always quick with a smile, a kind word and that chuckling laugh….Pat was my friend. We didn’t always agree, but we knew that mutual respect was the foundation of our long friendship.

“Whenever Pat was speaking in Chesterfield, he would tell the story of the day he announced his campaign for Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia – and that I was the first Unit Chairman to endorse him. While politicians are sometimes given to hyperbole……it was the truth. I had been encouraging him to run…..and I already had the email drafted – all I needed was his confirmation. I had a ‘head start.’

“There is no doubt, Pat will be missed….by his loving family and by his devoted friends alike. He was a good and faithful servant. And as for this friend……..Pat will always be Mr. Chairman. Requiescat in pace, Pat.”

Kay Coles James, former Secretary of Health for Virginia in Governor George Allen’s administration, Republican Party activist: “I just learned of the passing of Pat Mullins. Prayers going out for his family. I like many others held him In such high regard.”

Garren Shipley, former RPV Communications Director who worked with Pat: “Blessed is the true judge. We will miss you Pat, but we know that you have gone to your reward, and that Jackie is glad to have you home.”

Dolores Switzer, President, Central Republican Women and Treasurer VFRW: “It is with sympathy I have been reading the posts regarding the passing of Mr. Chairman, Pat Mullins. Pat worked hard for our party and was a friend to us all. Godspeed our friend!”

Anthony Bedell, former Chairman, Fairfax County Republican Committee: “I used to joke while I was Chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Party that Pat Mullins was the greatest RPV Chairman of all time but the second best FCRC Chairman. That really wasn’t true. He was the best period. The Bedell family, who loves Pat Mullins and his family beyond words, extends their deepest sympathies. Rest in Peace my Chairman and mentor.”

Juanita Balenger, former Eastern District Vice-Chairwoman (2004-2016): “I am stunned and heartbroken to learn this evening from Steve Mullins that his dad Pat Mullins, passed away this afternoon in a car accident in Hanover County. Pat served faithfully as Fairfax County Republican Chairman and Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. I was privileged to serve on the State Central Committee when Pat was RPV Chairman. Pat was a true patriot and Virginia gentleman. He was always there for our candidates. Pat was also a Rotarian and served as Rotary District Governor. Pat lived the four way test of Rotary. I believe that one of the few Rotary District conferences I attended was when Pat was DG. This photo was taken in January 2015, when the Virginia GOP paid tribute to Pat after his Chairmanship. I will miss my conversations with Pat. My prayers are with his Steve and all of the Mullins family. May God bless Pat’s soul.”

Miki Selph Miller, former Chairman of the Virginia Federation of Republican Women: “It is with deep sadness I hear tonight of the passing of Pat Mullins, the past chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Pat was chairman when I was President of the Virginia Federation of Republican Women. Pat was a committed chairman of our party, he will be missed. RIP Pat, we thank you.”

Lena Morrill, former Sweet Briar College Republican Chairman, and former College Republican Federation of Virginia Chairman: “College Republicans could always count on Chairman Pat Mullins and his support of the dozens of CR chapters across the Commonwealth. He made every effort to ensure that the CRFV was a crucial part of Republican Party of Virginia. He understood that channeling the enthusiasm and energy of College Republicans would only build and strengthen the future of the state and national Republican party. I will always remember the kindness and respect that he showed me during my term as chairman. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with the Mullins family at this difficult time.”

Shaun Kenney, former RPV Communications Director and later Executive Director with Pat: “The greatest public act a man can perform is to throw themselves into a public life at a time when they could be doing any number of other things. Pat Mullins was such a man.

“One always assumes that there will be another lunch, another phone call, one more instance where a name will be heard in politics and you’ll get the chance to ask how folks are doing. Our eyes are going to tell us that chance has passed. Our faith tells us there will be one lasting and eternal moment where catching up will be the least thing on our minds.

“Chairman Mullins was and remains an example of a quiet, cheerful, bridge building sort of leadership which exemplified the qualities of a Virginia gentleman. No other human being could pack seven syllables into “How are you?” and make you feel as if at a moment you were the focal point of his attention. His love for the Republican Party and the conservative movement commanded loyalty and service.

“To Steve Mullins and his extended and immediate family, one can only express a heartfelt thank you knowing that tens of thousands of us are praying tonight, but with immense gratitude knowing and learning from a truly great man.”

Cathy Bolden, RPV Office Manager who worked with Pat: “My heart is heavy after falling asleep and to awake to the news of my former Chairman PAT MULLINS has passed. So happy he made it to my 30th year anniversary and was able to share his thoughts with me about my services rendered during his time as Chairman. From my family to his condolences are extended. Rest now with the angels Pat Mullins-Chairman Emeritus, we shall certainly meet again!”

Alex Stanley, former RPV staff member: “So sad to hear of the passing of my friend and former boss Pat. He was an amazing man — and though I know he’s happily reunited with his beautiful wife Jackie — he will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the Mullins family tonight.”

Tim Murtaugh, former RPV Communications Director (2009), Director of Communications for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue: “My deepest sympathies to the Mullins family upon the sad news of the passing of former RPV Chairman Pat Mullins. A beloved father and grandfather, Pat was also a tremendous leader for our party when we needed one badly. This picture is from election night 2009, after our hard work had finally paid off. Pat truly was a happy warrior for our cause and it was one of the highlights of my career to have had the honor of working with him. Rest In Peace, Mr. Chairman.”

Del. Glenn Davis, running for Lieutenant Governor 2017: “It is with great sadness that I share the passing of Pat Mullins, former Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Chelle and I join so many others in prayer and remembrance of a good man who served and sacrificed for many. Please keep his family in your prayers.”

Ed Gillespie, running for Governor 2017: “So saddened to learn that former RPV Chair Pat Mullins has passed away. He was a great patriot and strong conservative leader. I will miss him, as will so many others of his fellow Virginians.”

Shaun Kenney’s post at The Jeffersoniad, Bearing Drift’s sister publication.

Martha Boneta aka Paris Barns, EVP Citizens for the Republic: “My heart is broken. Pat Mullins was a great Virginian, conservative leader and dear friend. I know he is in heaven. He was a good man. My life is so blessed to have known him and to know the Mullins family. Steve Mullins you and the family are in my thoughts and prayers. I was just with your sister and Chris this past Friday night at Barboursville Winery and we talked at length about your dad. He loved this dress because of the race horses. A great man whose legacy lives on in our hearts….”

Richard Crouse, former RPV Political Director who worked with Pat: “Hearts and prayers go out to the Mullins Family during this difficult time. So many laughs and stories. May you Rest In Peace, my friend.”

College Republican Federation of Virginia: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mullins family after receiving the news of the passing of RPV Chairman Emeritus Pat Mullins this evening. He was a dedicated leader in the Republican Party of Virginia, known for how he successfully guided the party through a challenging time and the many stories he loved to share. This Virginia patriot will be sorely missed, and we are thankful for the time we were blessed to spend with him.”

Jeb Wilkinson, former Campaign Manager at “Pat Mullins for RPV Chairman:” “Of all the people I have met in politics in 25 years no one had the intellect, sense of humor and decency that Pat Mullins had. He loved a good debate but he never made disagreements personal. As I was driving him around the state when he was running for RPV Chairman he would tell me stories of former political foes who became friends. I will miss him. The Advance will never be the same without him telling his stories from years long past. We take comfort in Jesus words, ‘Because I live you too shall also live.’ ”

Elizabeth Minneman, former CR Chairman at University of Virginia, former CRFV chair, and currently CRNC secretary: “So sad to hear about the sudden passing of Pat Mullins-Chairman Emeritus. I learned so much from Pat during my time on the RPV state central committee and in College Republicans. He was a strong supporter of involving more young people in the party and he will be missed dearly!”

State Senator Dick Black: “Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Pat Mullins tonight. My dear friend, Pat, was a good man who fought for conservative values his entire life. Together we worked behind the scenes to dethrone the establishment and people will never know just how influential he really was within the conservative movement. I will be forever grateful for his dedication to restoring the values of this great nation. My deepest sympathies to Steve Mullins and the Pat Mullins family.”